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Help with Physical Power Difference in Gender in a Fantasy Race

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by ShadeZ, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Sage

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    I have a race who's physical power and abilities are based on two factors 1. Their physical capabilities and 2. Their sheer intent and determination. The male to female ratio for this race is very high as there are over 50 males and only 5 known females. They are made not born, and the type of mental durability needed to survive the transformation is very rare in women. However in my personal experience most women are over all meaner, fiercer, more aggressive, and more determined than most men. So I wonder would women possibly be stronger than men of this race in most combat circumstances?
     
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  2. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    Why? Why is it rarer in women? Why are women in your world some how less durable mentally? If they're made, why aren't these traits relatively the same in every individual? Who made the choice to make them this way and why?

    Also are physicality and determination of equal importance in combat, or is one more important than the other? If they're not balanced, what's the relative ratio of importance? EG. Is 1 part determination worth 3 parts physicality or more?

    The answer to these will help you along in answering if they'd be stronger than men.
     
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  3. Nighty_Knight

    Nighty_Knight Scribe

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    All depends on what you set up for the race. Are they human to begin with? Does the transformation process put them of a physical level with men, or are they the rare super athletes who are on par with them. Generally, women are not more aggressive than men in combat, equally mean yes. The issue with women in combat is their physical bodies are not as built and durable as mens bodies are, testosterone is a major factor as well as skeletal frame and muscle build. But if the 5 women can survive the process could be that strong.
     
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  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Out of curiosity, if they're made not born why is there sexual dimorphism?
     
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  5. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Sage

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    Okay. They come from any humanoid but especially elves and humans. The females while NOT as physically powerful on the first part have a number of other skills where they excel. While there is only one female to about every ten males they are easily in the top 5% among their species in abilities. The the most famous of their race are.

    Female demiduur excel as leaders and fast thinkers. Their intellectual prowess alone makes up for the power difference. They also carry over their most significant traits from their previous life. If they were good at hunting they might have good senses and tracking skills as a demiduur, if they had strong resolve before it carries over and makes them much stronger. The power ratio is 2:1 determination is higher than physical power for their species. If it is relevant they are a strange species with a number of odd habits, rituals, and quirks. For example while they can survive exsanguination easily they will drink gallons of water each day over the next week. They eat almost only meat. Apples and honey are addicting to them. They can only get drunk if the drink is made with apples, honey, or is older than them. A common wild flower weed known as Water's Breath is highly medical to them.
     
  6. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Transformation from what to what? Do some males transform into females? And stronger how? Just in brawn?
     
  7. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Sage

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    From humanoid to demiduur. They retain their gender, former powers are amplified and they gain a set baseline of skills which maybe higher or lower depending on the individuals prior skills and lifestyle. Stronger in power for the question however as a species over all they move at 50mph give or take, they are as powerful as a dragon, they are much smarter than humans and have fantastic memory and so on.
     
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.
  8. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    You’re running into pretty sketchy territory here, and I’m not normally quick to raise red flags on these issues. I think you should really look at where these comments are coming from and why you feel this way.

    Playing too much with gender differences in a fantasy race risks giving readers the impression you’re trying to play on real world themes related to sexism. Even used in passing it calls these issues to mind enough to make many readers uncomfortable. If none of this is intentional, and handled skillfully, it may be best to avoid it out of hand.
     
  9. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Sage

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    It is not really intended anyway. I don't like writing female characters for one so there are fewer of them. This barely comes up in the story at all since the team you see happens to be two boys and two girls. It is more for very far off thought world building type stuff.

    Do you think it comes off as anti-female due to the low chance of there being female demiduur? Or pro female because the female demiduur are generally stronger (albeit not necessarily physically) than the males?
     
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  10. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    So it would seem that the few who survive the process would have to be fairly tough to begin with, so that kind of makes it like only the top percent are able to make the transformation in the first place. The five women who made it ought be about the pinnacle of that group. That they would be on the upper end of the scale would seem to be built into the system. I suspect the same dynamic would apply, some of the demiduur are tougher than others, and of those that make it, the women would be tougher than some, and not tougher than others. That the women have other qualities, intelligence as you said, could make them formidable in other ways. I would suspect the rareness of them would also make them more valuable, and perhaps protected more vehemently from the others, so...thinking of opposing them carries extra risks than simply can I over power them. In doing so, I may find they have a lot of help. I may also find that they are used to that, and to giving orders.
     
  11. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Personally, while I can see what Devor is raising concerns about, I dont agree with him on those comments. I am not sure it comes off as pro or anti female anything, just telling a story and thinking on the possibilities. Men and Women have dynamic abilities and relationships, and they are not monolithic anything. Generally, males are more physically powerful for a whole lot of reasons, and women can still own them. It goes round and round everyday. Just make them who they are and show what is true about where they can flex their muscle.
     
  12. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Sage

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    Simalar cases occur in different forms than protection. Among demiduur to protect one can be an insult in certain situations as they are all warriors and it is like saying you don't think they can handle a threat themselves. For example in one instance two male demiduur grab a theif who targeted their sister (siblings have a higher chance of becoming demiduur if their sibling become demiduur as well). A human mage who is studying the species asks if they did that to protect her. They reply that they were not protecting her, she was the group leader among other things and they didn't think someone as strong as her should have to bother with common theives.

    Becoming a demiduur requires an amount of toughness which more women than men check off on give the high pain tolerance, however it requires a mental fortitude against traumatic things that women generally lack such as the ability to kill a raider and not feel guilty.

    Here is what an unsuccessful mutation would look like. Demiduur to be gets into a fight with a cultist that attacked (him/her). (He/She) is forced to kill said cultist as the cult actively seek to kill their breed. The not demiduur component of their brain reacts and immediately fires off with guilt, sadness, fear, frustration. The demiduur (as seen in my recent question on apathetic and not empathetic races) feels virtually nothing over this though, the person wanted to see them and their loved ones dead end of story. The human component keeps insisting on feeling guilt even though the mutation takes over more and more until the human part can't cope correctly resulting in the mutant either dying or becoming deranged. To cope correctly and pass the mental aspect one must meld with their demiduur self rather than reject it and fight it. In general in my experience men handle their instincts well and can feel out the morally correct ones where most women in my experience frankly deny they have instincts or impulses half the time and the other half of the time are certainly not in control of them. The lower emotion also is a contributing factor to why there are more males as the ability to not beat yourself up as much or for as long helps the transformation.

    As one of the demiduur describes it in the books,"A mouse doesn't simply become a cat. Sure the physical change hurts but the mental bit is where the trouble is. Going from a meek little scavenger to a graceful and deadly predator with the mind of a mouse but the impulse and form of a cat never works. You have to pick before the transformation. Will you be a mouse or a cat? If you want to be a mouse you will lack the fangs and claws of a cat. But if you become a cat you can not get all weepy over hunting when that is your nature."
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
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  13. ascanius

    ascanius Inkling

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    First off. You need to work on clarity. You refer to these dimiduur as a race, a species, and humanoids three very different things. A race and species are used interchangeably in fantasy for the most part but race is technically of the same species because they bear fertile offspring. A humanoid is anything that walks on two legs and has a basic e human appearance, a toy doll is a humanoid figure. On first reading I got the impression you had a race, like dwarves for example and they were all male who had to be "made" into female.

    Second. From reading the posts I gathered this. You have an elite warrior class. The individuals who make up this group of warriors can come from different races such as humans and elves. The sex ratio of individuals who compose this group is 10:1 male/female which is actually high compared to US special forces.

    These individuals are made into elite warriors through some process, you don't say what, but it involves mutation, and they don't have emotions. That being said you have something similar to a Witcher.

    Now to the question. You imply that the elves and humans that make up this group have sexual dimorphism, one sex is visibly different that the other usually size in the case of mammals. You also say that the males are stronger. Now, regardless of your personal experience I don't see any reason why they would be stronger than other male demiduur. You can look at MMA as an example. The top ten male MMA fighters would still beat the top ten female MMA fighters. Meanness, intelligence, determination and all that other mental stuff don't matter at that level. Now, if comparing a female demiduur to the average everyday guy they meet on the street she would probably wipe the floor with them the same way the top female MMA fighters would do with the majority of men on the street.
     
  14. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Sage

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    See two on the original post. They are a type of supernatural to where their determination and intent to do something results in increased power on a 2:1 ratio as I believe I mentioned somewhere. In other words a demiduur's determination can in certain cases make up a power level difference.
     
  15. S J Lee

    S J Lee Troubadour

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    There are LOTS of ways to compensate for strength differences... EG, magic armour exoskeleton (which is designed to be used by only special DNA keys - could be set for women?)
    OR genetically engineered women (eg, look at the Amazons in Wonder Women. They are not meant to be ordinary women)
    OR they have magical telekinesis powers which they put into their arms and they SEEM stronger, thought they carry / hit with "magic" not muscle...
    OR just dunk the girl in a magic potion (Obelix, or Infidel in Maxey's books) all very convenient ... is it BELIEVABLE? Depends on how you do it.

    Heinlein in Starship troopers had the infantry as mostly / all male, even though they used power armour suits / exoskeletons .. the women tended to do the spaceship flying

    Now, if you want to have the women stronger / as strong as the men withough magic / tech / induced alterations... how? ARe we talking about EG a gargoyle, and their lay small eggs that do not require large internal organs eg, no uterus? eg, and egg that grows between the gargoyle's shoulderblades / wings, and it breaks off when it is ready to be laid in a nest?

    My advice is DON'T have beautiful conventionally attractive women with superhuman strength like Wonder Woman... it is a cliche, it's been done 1000 times

    Here is an attractive female armwrestler... would beat any normal man in any pub


    BUT she would never beat the top-ranked men....

    BUT why are you so worried about strength???? Why not think about weapons and their system of warfare?
    IS there any system of combat in which women could beat a man? DOES warfare on your world come down to strength? For toe to toe bashing people over Roman Legionary style after marching 20 miles quickly in armour to the battle, probably....

    But what about fighting from horseback? It's control of the horse that matters, and the horse does most of the pushing of a lance etc? And a woman might have an advantage, if she weighs less? Women light cavalry might be BETTER then men for raiding? Women can catch the men on horseback, but not vice versa, because the men weigh more?

    here is a 3 minute video of both a male and a female mounted bullfighter (warning - some blood)


    The woman looks just as deadly as the man. And prettier. Is she as strong? NO! is she strong ENOUGH to stick the blade in deep enough to kill (through gradual blood loss)? YES!

    Are there forms of combat where a woman might be BETTER than a man?

    Assassination? no-one expects a pretty girl to pull out a gun / knife? Look at Arya in GofT

    What about snipers? patience, strategic thinking, hand-eye coordination... indeed, Pavlichenko claimed women had an ADVANTAGE over men, because her smaller hands could apply pressure in smaller amounts, making it less likely she'd pull the trigger too hard, and so missing by pulling the gun off-target when shooting

    She killed 300+ German confirmed kills, including 30+ German snipers in duels...?
    Lyudmila Pavlichenko - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  16. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    To be quite frank, I think it comes across as anti-female that you are a writer who made a conscious choice to limit female characters because you don't like writing them. And I don't think it matters what your intent is.
     
  17. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    Uhhhhhhhhhhhh... yeah, the whole mental durability being rare in woman thing mentioned in the first post? Kinda throws up a red flag for me. =/
     
  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yeah. That went unanswered above, but with respect to humans particularly it has to be answered. I guess you can do what you want with elves since they’re made up, but people will still question the decision-making on something like that.
     
  19. S J Lee

    S J Lee Troubadour

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    OP, just remember that YOU are the one who decides how "rare a woman dxxx" is.....
    Me, I think you are missing out on a huge opportunity ... if "female fantasy characters" are really that rare, you could stand out IF you did it well? AND we usually think of women as, in PHYSICAL contests, being maybe the underdog - and we love to cheer for the underdog in a fight. An easy way to hook the reader, if you handled it in a non-token way?

    AS the tech improves, there is less and less that women can't do if they have access to the right education / training / encouragement.... just think about it. EG more than half of college students are now female in most western countries. Unthinkable a hundred years ago. IF your world has a fairly advanced civilisation, it will not only be non-PC but, far worse, UNCONVINCING unless you write it very carefully?

    Even in the real-world military, women are, yes, in the minority, but the ratios are changing with time....
     
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  20. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    You still didn't answer why? This is where IMHO, the biggest problem lies for me. Here you're basically saying most women are some how mentally inferior to men. You say your super soldiers are created from natural, sexually dimorphic species akin to humans, so by extension, you're saying that about humans in general, which isn't true.

    Can you see where the problem lies here?

    It doesn't matter that these women who do make it turn out to be extra special after the process. You're still saying that most of the normal women are lesser than men mentally because most can't make the cut in the first place.

    At the end of the day, it's your story and your world, but realize this is something that's very glaring.

    I read more of your posts, and honestly, the more you explain things, the more I think you should really go back and think about what the implications of what you're proposing are.
     
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